Finally

When I was young I never realized it but kids really do grow up fast. The doctor delivers them (It sounds like FedX but they don't deliver them to your house, you have to pick them up yourself) as tiny infants; many would fit in a shoebox. The mother holds the infant to her breast and in one of the most touching, tender, inexpressible moments, mother feeds her child. That universally amazing moment of seeming perfection is captured by artists, photographers and writers - recorders of every kind. We want to preserve it, partly because, looking back, we will see time as only too short.

That infant begins to change, overnight it seems. Their cute and charming early indication of wanting to nurse soon becomes a somewhat irritating demand to have their own way. There is a reason the term "the terrible twos" was coined. My guess is, Adam and Eve began to notice the trait. The early excitement of going to school sometimes evolves into "Do I have to go?"

By age twelve, that sense of personhood is so developed, that their personhood sometimes clashes with ours. It is just a matter of a little time. Jesus asserted himself at that age. He did not run away during a temple visit; his parents left him, and when they finally discovered that fact, went back to get him. He was still in the temple, now in dialogue with the Jewish teachers who were amazed with this precocious twelve year old young man. His parents had left him, but in good parental fashion, rebuked him. Jesus seemed to go "off script: in modern thinking; he (the Son of God, and apparently very much aware of it) accepted the rebuke and followed obediently. 

Mary's memories of those moments may have flooded back into her mind when just thirty-three years later she was with several other women near the foot of a cross, a crude instrument of suffering and death, its use perfected by a brutal Roman government. Her son, the one who had nursed at her breast, hung there.

With his death certified by the soldiers, the professionals, permission was given for his body to be taken down and buried in a borrowed tomb. He would only need it three days. His resurrection was not a "maybe"; it was declared beforehand by God. It was God's immutable will - not just the resurrection, but birth, life, suffering, death, and finally, the resurrection. Read that again, "Finally" the resurrection. It was not part of a cycle to be repeated; it was a straight-line event, a "once-for-all-time" event, "finally".

Our time between Christmas and Easter seems so short that we can hardly get everything into the "program." From an eternal perspective with God, we will see the shortness of time here. We will not see how hard life was, but how little was asked by God, and yet how much He gave. The resurrection is the "finally" of this process, when death will have lost its power, when the grave will be useless for believers, when the same power that raised Jesus from the dead raises every person who has died believing in Christ in every age, from every nation, and the vision of Revelation 21 becomes a reality: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth... and I heard a loud voice..., 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men... and they shall be His people... and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will no longer be death.'" It is just a matter of time.